Winter Sangria Cocktail

by | Cocktails

A Winter Sangria Cocktail, with fruit, liquors, warm spiced simple syrup and herbs makes for a perfect winter cocktail sip. Every type of wine or champagne is fair game for a great sangria recipe. 

Winter Sangria Cocktail
Winter Sangria Cocktail

Winter Sangria

Every winter sangria must start with a good bottle of red wine. Never use a wine for a sangria that you wouldn’t want to sip on its own.

The idea of a winter sangria is to take a rich red wine and deepen its flavors with the addition of warm spices that have steeped in a simple syrup.

Using winter fruits, such as apples and oranges, brings a freshness from the fruit but my oh my, wait until you bite into that apple that has been soaking up the wine!

Apples For Sangria
Apples For Sangria

What Is A Winter Sangria Cocktail?

A dark red winter sangria lends itself to warm winter spices to flavor the simple syrup, with fruits that best compliment the liquors chosen to add.

An apple brandy makes a great addition to a dark red wine. Add a splash of apple cider simmered with cinnamon, cloves and orange rinds, and you’ve got the perfect fruit sangria for the winter months and holiday occasions.  

Apple Cider
Apple Cider

Sangria Origin

Sangria, derived from the word ‘sange’ or blood in Spanish, originated as a way to ward off bacteria in water  many years ago, protecting the blood from bacteria related diseases. 

Having spent a greater part of my child rearing years with a large Italian family, I became aware that Sunday Suppers, always included wine.

Even the kids table had a watered down wine at their seat; sorry I didn’t know this family when I was a kid!

I was a bit taken aback when I saw this, until I was in the kitchen and happened to see the children’s glasses being prepared; a glass of water, a drizzle of Chianti.

When I asked why, the answer; ‘tradition’! I guess it stemmed from bad water, many centuries ago, and like an ‘ole wives tale’, it stuck. 

My First Fruit Winter Sangria Cocktail

I must admit, my first glass of sangria, with all the luscious fruits, didn’t happen unto the late 90’s. Having gone to a fabulous Spanish restaurant in Baltimore Maryland, for the best Paella I’d eaten in a restaurant.

Proudly I say that because one of my sons makes the very, very best Paella I’ve ever had in my life, now!

How To Make Winter Sangria

Old World Pitchers Of Sangria

I happened to notice nearly every table had a huge ornate pitcher of sangria, loaded with fruit. I felt sure that the ornate pitchers were hand painted in Portugal, wink! I had to have one.

I have to admit, if there is one really good reason to order a pitcher of winter sangria, other than the fact that it tastes fabulous, it’s because you can drink a whole lot more during the course of an evening without feeling over the top! Kind of health, I guess!

Oranges For Our Sangria Cocktail
Oranges For Our Sangria Cocktail

Sangria Popularity

Part of the food and dining experience is about the drink! While I can pop the cork on my favorite bottle of wine, I knew very little about cocktails.

I went to have my niece (a wedding planner), give me a few lessons on cocktails, what people like and why. 

The first, so called, cocktail she wanted me to learn to make was Sangria with fruit. She said it lends itself to such a huge variety of additional liquors, fruits, herbs and spices that it should be the first cocktail a home cook would want experiment with. 

She explained also that there are a variety of ways to make a sangria, for a variety of seasons; which lend to a lovely springtime White Wine Sangria Cocktail.

Serving Sangria As A Cocktail

While Sangria was originally prepared in beautiful over-sized handmade clay pitchers with traditional painting on the sides, we Americans seemed to have changed that.

In our quest to appear to live a casual lifestyle, we have started serving Sangria in oversized Mason Jars! Geez!

I went out to buy half dozen of these jars and found I enjoyed drinking my daily Mint Water out of them, but using the lids for a very practical Pie Crust Hack.

Just think, you can have a Mason Jar filled with an array of fruits and herbs, sip on it all day and no one will suspect ‘ya got booze’ in there! 

Ingredients Needed

  • Red wine
  • Apple cider
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Honey
  • Apples
  • Brandy
  • Orange slices
  • Ice
Sangria Ingredients
Sangria Ingredients

Equipment Needed

  • Saucepan
  • Pitcher
  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • Stirring spoon
  • Stovetop or burner
Winter Sangria Cocktail

Easy Sangria With Fruit

Sangria with winter fruits, liquors, spiced simple syrup and herbs.
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Course: Cocktails
Cuisine: Mediterranen
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Calories: 300kcal


  • Merlot – 2 cups, or a favorite red
  • Apple Cider – 3/4 cup
  • Cinnamon stick – 3, 2 for garnish
  • Honey – 1 tablespoon
  • Apples – 1 cup thinly sliced red and green
  • Brandy – 1/4 cup, apple brandy is yummy
  • Orange slices – 1 orange, in slices (2 for garnish)
  • Ice – 1 cup
  • Tall pitcher


  • In a small sauce pan, place apple cider, 1 cinnamon stick and honey. Bring to a simmer, turn off, cover and let steep for 15 minutes. Cool. Remove cinnamon.
  • In a large pitcher, place ice and remaining ingredients. Stir.
  • In large glasses, place an orange slice on the rim of the glass, 1 cinnamon stick each and pour the sangria in each glass. Serve. Allow pitcher to sit out room temp while sipping.



Calories: 300kcal
Winter Sangria Cocktail
Winter Sangria Cocktail

My Muffin Madness


In my family, I’ve always been known as the ‘Muffin Queen’. Out of necessity, I created muffins for breakfast, lunch, on the go snacks, sometimes dinner and a sweet yet healthyish treat for dessert!

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